Type 1 diabetes treatment mainly involves lifestyle changes, because such treatment will help patients stay away from cardiac or renal complications over a period of time.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus, formerly known as Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM), occurs in people with insulin deficiency. This hormone is responsible for lowering blood glucose levels, and it is secreted by the pancreas. The condition can result due to absolute or partial loss of beta cells, which are the cells in the pancreas that secrete insulin.
Firstly, before type 1 diabetes treatment is started, the diagnosis has to be accurate and it should be determined whether the person has type 1 or type 2 diabetes. After it is confirmed, doctors are likely to recommend a multi-modal approach during the treatment of type I diabetes. The main aim of the treatment is to relieve the symptoms of hyperglycaemia initially, and on a long term basis, to prevent cardiac, renal, or other complications that are associated with uncontrolled diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Measure #1: Diabetes Education
This stands as the first in the list. The patient has to be aware of what exactly type 1 diabetes is and how it affects the body. Diabetes education is a process which can to be taken up by the health care provider, and it includes details on:
- Diabetes and how it works
- The importance of regular care
- How to control diabetes
- How to monitor blood glucose levels
- How insulin therapy works
Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Measure #2: Exercise And Lifestyle Modifications
Diabetes can be treated through exercise and lifestyle changes. Studies have shown that blood sugar levels can be considerably lowered through exercise. However, sometimes a drastic drop in the blood sugar levels can cause hypoglycaemia.
Therefore, moderate exercise is often advised (like a brisk walk for thirty minutes a day) instead of heavy workouts for type I diabetics.
Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Measure #3: Dietary Modifications
Dietary modification plays a vital role in the management of diabetes. This adds on to the treatment, along with insulin therapy, and helps keep the blood sugar levels under check. The main aims of dietary modifications are:
- To maintain normal blood sugar levels
- To maintain adequate nutrition
- To maintain the desirable Body Mass Index (BMI)
The amount of calorie intake has to be around 1800Kcal/day. The prescribed diet should be a balanced one that contains mainly carbohydrates (60-70%), fat (15-20%), proteins (20-25%), and dietary fibre (25gms/1000Kcal).
Diabetics can consume vegetable soups, salads, green leafy vegetables, other green vegetables, carrots, tomatoes, water melons, and fruits like strawberries. They can also include milk, yogurt, cheese, cream, and meat in moderate levels. Items like sweets, aerated drinks, and alcoholic beverages should be avoided.
Type 1 Diabetes Treatment Measure #4: Insulin Replacement Therapy
As people with type I diabetes face insulin deficiency, doctors often recommend exogenous insulin in order to substitute the lack of the same. There are different types of insulin supplements available. These can be used alone or together, based on the doctor’s advice, as each patient will need a different dose.
Insulin is administered in the form of injections. Insulin syringes and prefilled insulin cartridges can be used with insulin pen devices, and sometimes, a continuous insulin secreting pump is also used to administer insulin.
Being aware of the condition and following the prescribed type 1 diabetes treatment through a proper diet and regular exercise can help you prevent the complications of the disease.